This week has seen some important silverware decided in the world of schoolgirls cricket with the St Kentigern side having a bittersweet few days.
They initially triumphed in the Girls NZCT final on Monday where they toppled Westlake Girls in a convincing eight wicket win. But just two days later they were knocked over by Epsom Girls Grammar in the College Sport mid-week twenty20 final.
Both teams that played out the NZCT final will be off to the national tournament to represent Auckland in Palmerston North from 5-8 December with the two sides having a strong Auckland Cricket connection. St Kentigern are co-coached by Anthony Bowler who takes the Secondary Schoolgirl rep team and Westlake have Dean Flyger in charge, who is now the Auckland Under 21 and Assistant Hearts coach. St Kentigern also boast the expertise of former White Fern Beth McNeil as their other co-coach.
St Kentigern would have gone in to the mid-week final as favourites but Epsom Girls made the early running as Kayla Vao (42), Rose Tynan (21) and Leanne Gray (20*) made sure their side put together an impressive total as they posted 135/3. Tynan was again in the action when St Kentigern replied, grabbing 2/31, and along with Taz Haradasa (2/17) helped restrict St Kents to 123/7 and secure the title for Epsom.
EGGS coach Neil Gray commented on the victory:”To win the trophy for seven years in a row is a real achievement, and even more so this year with a team that has no Year 13 players in it.”
St Kentigern will be on a mission to win the title for Auckland in Palmerston North but also probably for George Mains, father of their captain Claire Mains, who passed away from cancer only a couple of weeks ago. George was a huge supporter of the team, having acted as assistant coach and manager, and was intending to head down with the side to the National Tournament.